Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Chris, could you marry a convert?"

The question-title of this post is often asked to me periodically. I am generally asked if I would be open to dating/marrying a girl who wishes to convert to Catholicism. 

I am usually reserved on this question because priests are not supposed to book a wedding until he is proven that both parties are Roman Catholic and are free to marry in the Church. (My priest will not book a wedding until such questions are answered.) But if there is someone who wants to date me, they will either (1) have to be Catholic or (2) willing to convert. 

If a young woman converted before she meets me, then she is all set. But if she is willing to convert to Catholicism to see me and for the salvation of her soul, then it will depend where she is converting from. If she was baptized "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" with water outside of the Church, then this baptism will be recognized as valid with proof thereof. But if she is converting from a non-Christian religion, then she will definitely have to be catechized sufficiently in order to be baptized as an adult.

In the diocese I currently live in it is almost impossible to find a traditional priest who will administer the sacraments the right way, never mind proper catechists. If need be I am willing to catechize a future spouse if warranted. (I will make sure she will not go through an RCIA program!) There is no church law that says who exactly can catechize, albeit the teaching responsibilities of bishops today are so low that I had to learn the Catholic Faith (as a cradle Catholic) all in my spare time, thanks to the Internet. 

As far as adult baptism, this can be done by any priest at any time during the year (not just at the Easter Vigil). But if a priest cannot be reached, then any layperson can baptize. It is quite possible that a layperson will have to perform the simple baptism as noted above, but I nor my family members canonically could not do it because doing so would constitute an impediment toward marriage for me because of the spiritual relationship between my relatives and her. 

As far as Confirmation is concerned, I will bend backwards to make sure she receives the Sacrament in the Tridentine form and by a bishop. (There are no resident bishops who will do this in New England.) She will have to find a female sponsor for Baptism and Confirmation. 

Lastly, no wedding plans can be made until she receives Baptism. (Confirmation may be delayed for a good reason.) I hope she would not convert to try to ease the rules. For some inspiration, here is the Wikipedia list of some famous Catholic converts. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bp. Williamson consecrates Fr. Jean-Michel Faure to the episcopacy

As a follow-up from the breaking news story, it has been confirmed by Rorate Caeli and the Associated Press that Bishop Richard Williamson has consecrated Father Jean-Michel Faure to the episcopacy today in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro (state), Brazil today, the Feast of Saint Joseph.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Bishop Williamson to consecrate bishop in Brazil on St. Joseph's Day

Rorate Caeli is reporting from reliable sources that Bishop Richard Williamson, expelled from the SSPX in 2012 for anti-Semitism, plans to consecrate a bishop at a monastery outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on St. Joseph's Day (March 19, 2015). The motive is to have a bishop to assist Bishop Williamson by ordaining priests for "The Resistance", a group that is not canonically recognized.

The Resistance are the splinter group of former SSPX priests (headed by Frs. Pfeiffer, Chazel, and Hewko) who think Bishop Fellay is selling-out the order to the Novus Ordo (not true). They also have other traditional priests who help out.

If Bishop Williamson plans as so, than he and the new ordinand(s) will most likely incur  excommunication according to Canons  1013 and 1382. But if you read the original Latin text of Canon 1013, which states:

"Null Episcopo licet quemquam consecrare in Episcopum, nisi prius constet de pontificio mandato." (Emphasis added)
Which translates:  
"No bishop is permitted to consecrate anyone a bishop unless it is first evident that there is a pontifical mandate." (Emphasis added)

This is key in handing out excommunications. The 1983 Code of Canon Law does not actually say that the Pope has to issue a papal bull authorizing the consecration of a bishop for the sacramental life of the Church! The word "pontifical" does not exclusively apply to the Pope. When a bishop celebrates High Mass, it is referred to as a "Pontifical High Mass," with pontiff meaning high priest. The Pope is Pontifex Maximus, or Supreme Pontiff.

So in conclusion, the Latin word pontificio in lowercase does not exclusively mean the Pope. This proves how Archbishop Lefebvre was able to consecrate and that the original SSPX excommunications were null and void to begin with. So in theory, any bishop can consecrate auxiliary bishops without permission of the Holy See.

If this canon is still the law when Cardinal Burke and Bishop Fellay need to consecrate bishops for reasons no one ever wants to even talk about, they can do it according to one word in the law. If the Holy Father was required to approve all bishops, then it would say "Papal", not "pontifical."

This report is not an endorsement of His Excellency's decision, but just to report the facts according to the law.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pope Francis: "No turning back the clock" on V2 & liturgical reforms

Please read this Remnant article regarding the Holy Father celebrating a commemorative Novus Ordo Mass for the 5oth anniversary of the "Interim Missal" in the vernacular. The Pope has also indicated that the Novus Ordo will not cease to exist, which is the cause for this "celebration."

By 1969 the Tridentine Mass and the use of Latin was practically wiped-out of our neighborhood parishes. Some parishes changed their Masses before Vatican II was over; just ask my mother. She was in fourth grade at the parochial school in 1963 when all of a sudden there was no more practicing Latin in the church one day.

The Mass was officially the second thing to go. The Rites of Ordination were the first reforms mandated in 1968, which altered the priesthood from a sacrificial to presbyterial one. After the Mass came the revision of Baptism in 1971, which got rid of the exorcisms, and the revision of Confirmation which allows the use of any oil.  Then went Extreme Unction in 1972, which "Anointing of the Sick" replaced it. [The new Rite of Marriage was designed to be celebrated during Mass (and not before as tradition), so the rite changed when the new missal was published.]

Then came communion in the hand (1977), Eucharistic ministers, Sunday Mass on Saturday Night (1983), Altar Girls (1994), and the Luminous Mysteries (2002). All these and all the other things the Vatican never approved, including (but not limited to) RCIA, Lifeteen, etc.

Francis approving the Neocatechumenical Way shows that he has disregard for reverent celebration of the Mass. He does not like traditionalists for sure. A lot of us don't like him, and once Communion is given to...we must resist like Cardinal Burke will do. We must practice the True Faith somewhere, even if the hierarchy is forcing us back into having Sunday Mass in our living rooms. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Knights of Columbus are no longer Catholic

First comes a rebuttal on a banning a lesbian wedding reception in Indiana. Now comes the St. Patrick's Day Parade this year in South Boston: the Knights of Columbus are going to march in the parade (for the first time ever) next to the gay group. Yep, that's correct. They are going to march in a parade that Saint Patrick himself would go ballistic if he lived to see this come.

It's very interesting that they have never done it before, even when the LGBT groups were openly banned. But they must be the "replacement" for the Immaculate Heart of Mary School Marching Band, the only truly Catholic school in the Commonwealth which stands for the Church and practices the Faith on a daily basis (?).

The Knights were named after Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who went to the Bahamas but has a Federal holiday for discovering America. Columbus was a solid Catholic and wanted to convert his claimants to Catholicism. He was a member of the Church Militant.

The Knights were also partly responsible for adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, which is the only thing I like about them now. But otherwise they are not that chivalrous as the medieval knights were.

The Knights are just a men's club which sells insurance policies to it membership. They have several lodges throughout the country. They are practically a business and not a spiritual entity of the Catholic Church. They are practically "Catholic Freemasons."

When I went to a wedding reception at a Knights hall last summer, they had open bar until a certain time, then it became a cash bar. Since I cannot drink alcohol due to medical issues, I ordered a cranberry juice during open bar, but the bartender charged me $2.50 per glass! Go figure, they claim to be a Catholic organization but disregard the cardinal virtue of temperance.

 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Boycotting diocesan pledge drives and the German Church Tax

Reinhard Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Bishops' Conference, has already indicated that the Catholic Church in Germany will withdraw from Roman control if Synod 2015 does not favor Holy Communion for unrepentant sinners. They will pull what Henry VIII did in England in 1534, a total withdrawal from the spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff.

In many dioceses in other parts of the world (especially the USA), Lent is the beginning of the annual diocesan fundraiser for the central administration, where funds are appropriated at the discretion of the bishop.

The two scenarios are indeed different. While the American church relies strictly on donations of the faithful, the German church is funded by the German Government through the Church Tax. So instead of passing the hat during the offertory, German taxpayers are required to pay the tax in order to receive the sacraments. (Such a system has been around since the Holy Roman Empire.) If you are a tax evader, your soul is in eternal jeopardy.

Similar issues concur with both: funding heterodoxy. The German taxes don't only go to the upkeep of the medieval cathedrals. They go to the six-figure salaries of the bishops! The Archdiocese of Cologne has a Billion euro operating budget!

On the other hand, in the USA, many dioceses have a fundraising campaign, with most of the money going to social justice causes that have nothing to do with the Church. For example in the Archdiocese of Boston, the money goes to the six-figure salaries of lay employees at the "pastoral center" and heresy. Many dioceses run similar campaigns for activities that have nothing to do with Catholicism. 

So instead of committing the sin of simony, please do not donate to a diocesan pledge drive, especially if the Bishop does not say the Tridentine Mass. Instead, donate to your parish only and another Catholic charity that is orthodox.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cathedral of the Holy Cross to build apartments on parking lot

The Associated Press reported today in my local newspaper that the Archdiocese of Boston has signed a 99-year lease with a developer to build rental housing, retail space and a garage on the Cathedral of the Holy Cross back parking lot. Most of the details are confidential, but the building is to include 160 units and 70 parking spaces for the Cathedral.

This is a disturbing project that is totally unnecessary. This is one of Cardinal Sean's pet projects to try to get more income for the Cathedral, which only averages $1200 per week in offertory plus the parish taxes.

How is building apartments on an existing parking lot really going to aid the Archdiocese? It's not. This is a stupid move on the cronies in Braintree. This is a bonehead play on that of the Cardinal and rector Fr. Kevin O'Leary. (Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank would not do such a deal.)

Don't expect low-income or Section 8 tenants in these units! A one-bedroom in Boston could go from $2000-$4000 per month, depending on the amenities. Lucky you can get a studio for $1500. And don't expect good Catholics to rent here either. With all the fiscal and moral problems the Archdiocese has, and a combination with anti-discriminatory housing laws, anyone regardless of...must be able to rent as long they pay rent. I would not rent here, since the rent will most likely be over $5000 for a one-bedroom because the landlord (the Archbishop of Boston)  have to pay the developer/property manager, so he will most likely get $2500 per unit, which would be $400,000 per month and $4.8 million per year!  

Retail space? Forget about it, unless it is a Catholic gift shop staffed by nuns.

Only 70 parking spaces in the garage? Not nearly enough for the many people who can fit in the Cathedral. What the Cathedral really needs is to build a multi-story garage instead of rental housing to accommodate the parking situation. Then this would not force people to take the broken MBTA to church.

Finally, this is a pet project. It is a joke before a shovel breaks ground. Besides a parking garage, what the Cathedral really needs is the high altar and rail restored and the Traditional Latin Mass restored to the main sanctuary and not left in the basement. The Cathedral needs to be the holy place it was consecrated for. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

CMTV attacks Angelus Press, The Remnant, & Catholic Family News

Michael Voris & Co. are at it again. They simply attack the modern-day forefathers of Catholic Tradition, including (but not limited to) Archbishop Lefebvre, Michael Davies, and Walter Matt for standing up for the Traditional Latin Mass when it was practically wiped-out of the parishes over 45 years ago.

I understand Voris' position that you need to be in full communion with your diocesan bishop in order to be considered a Catholic. But things are more complicated today than one thinks. For example, Archbishop Lefebvre founded the SSPX because practically every priest abandoned the administration of the undoubtedly valid sacraments. It became more evident as the Archbishop aged that doctrine and morality were declining along with the sacraments, that he needed to be assured that priests were able to be validly ordained without question. So in 1988 he consecrated four bishops for the administration of the sacraments, more specifically the ones reserved to a bishop: Confirmation and Holy Orders.

The SSPX bishops do not have any particular jurisdiction over anyone. When referring to the fact that "they have no authority in the Church", this particularly applies to the other administrative duties an ordinary would have. For example, they cannot authorize exorcisms, grant annulments, or excommunicate. They are only equivalents of auxiliary bishops, who possess no authority in governance of a diocese.

Any bishop can administer the Sacrament of Confirmation, but that is normally reserved to the local ordinary. Auxiliary bishops and retired bishops validly confirm. So do the SSPX bishops, especially when the actual bishops will not confirm anyone validly. Any bishop can ordain.

In terms of hearing confessions and officiating at marriages, normally you need faculties to perform these sacraments validly. But today's church is anything but normal. When you go to your typical Novus Ordo confessional and the priest says it's not a sin to eat meat on Friday, use birth control, or miss Sunday Mass without a good health or safety reason, then he is not a reliable confessor. Going to a traditional priest (SSPX or otherwise) who hears sins as sins and gives absolution is the natural, safer option. (As far as marriages are concerned, see my Jan. 9th post.)

Most importantly, lex orandi, lex credenti, lex vivendi. How you pray at Sunday Mass reflects on what you believe and is supposed to reflect on how you live away from the church property. If you go to the abusive Novus Ordo Mass, then chances are you don't believe in the Real Presence because the prayers and music do not reflect the sacrificial nature of the Catholic priesthood. Many of those Catholics simply spend an hour in church on Sunday and live in sin the rest of the week. Whereas, if you attend the Traditional Mass (or an Eastern Rite Mass in communion with Rome), then the prayers the priest says on our behalf reflect and express the Catholic Faith; Traditional Catholics live according to the teachings of the Church.

It is very important to attend the Traditional Latin Mass as this is a dogma of the Church. If you are a Novus Ordo Catholic and you want to live your faith, then it is now time to stop attending the Novus Ordo Mass and change over to the TLM. (I did it five years ago.)

Some people, even traditional priests, think it's A-Okay to go to the New Mass. Don't fall for it! Angelus Press, The Remnant, Catholic Family News, and other publications who editorially defend the TLM and Archbishop Lefebvre's work have been around before the internet, and they are theologically sound. The Archbishop knew it was necessary to preserve "the Mass of the Ages" to preserve the Catholic Faith. These same publications never believed that the Chair of Peter has been vacant since 1958 (neither do I).

In a perfect world, I wish Pope Francis would say the TLM. In a perfect world, I wish I could go back to my neighborhood parish. I wish I could easily attend Sunday Mass in my residential diocese and financially support the diocese. I wish more young men could pursue their vocation as diocesan priests. I wish I could contribute to second collections. I wish I could not tell parents not to send their children to the "Catholic" schools. I wish I could take someone's word for saying they're Catholic.

The list goes on and on. Archbishop Lefebvre was only a prophet when he did his work. Today, Cardinal Burke, an exiled prelate, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, an auxiliary bishop, are two bishops who have no (longer) governing authority in the Church. They are forced to globetrot like the SSPX bishops just to defend the faith. If they all be co-consecrators for traditional bishops in the future, so be it.

Finally, a simple message to Novus Ordo Catholics ages 18-35: It's not your fault that you attend the New Mass. Start attending the TLM and gain the Faith. Go to it, even if it's frowned upon by the diocesan bishop.